Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform Receives First GSMA Commercial License for iSIM Functionality

Qualcomm Technologies in partnership with Thales has achieved the world’s first commercially deployed iSIM (Integrated SIM) on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform.

It enables the functionality of a SIM within a smartphone’s main processor, and the GSMA’s security certification ensures it supports the same high standards of cyber security and ‘anytime anywhere’ connectivity.

iSIM (Unified SIM)

This new iSIM offers device manufacturers more opportunities to save space, reduce manufacturing and supply chain costs while maintaining security standards.

iSIM allows devices to access cellular networks without the need for a hardware SIM card or eSIM in a printed circuit board (PCB). This provides two benefits:

  • This saves space by removing the need for a separate component, enabling smaller devices to be connected securely.
  • In addition, it requires less power than eSIM, making it more practical for large-scale IoT use cases.

Benefits of iSIM
  • The absence of a physical SIM card and tray enables manufacturers to create smaller and more compact devices, opening up opportunities for ease of carrying and using with less risk of damage from dust or water.
  • eSIMs and iSIMs simplify manufacturing processes and logistics as they can connect to any mobile network operator, regardless of product type.
  • Enhanced security is another advantage of iSIM technology, pioneered by eSIM, as SIM information is embedded directly into the device’s hardware, making unauthorized access very difficult.
  • Over-the-air provisioning has been made easier for carriers to manage their customers’ devices, saving customers time and hassle.
  • Increased flexibility is another benefit of iSIM as a single device can connect to multiple carriers, providing increased flexibility for the user, especially useful for customers who frequently travel internationally.

The new iSIM complies with the GSMA Remote SIM Provisioning standard, allowing subscription management via a standard platform.

According to Kaleido Intelligence, this form factor complements existing SIM and eSIM designs, and is expected to account for 19% of all eSIM shipments, with an estimated market share of 300 million units by 2027.

Speaking on the announcement, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Ziad Asghar, Senior Vice President of Product Management, said,

We are very pleased to see our investment in High Assurance processor hardware security, in collaboration with Thales, to achieve the security and functional bars required by GSMA for the Remote Provisioning UICC use case. We believe that a tamper-resistant element integrated within the host processor can efficiently enable innovative use cases across multiple markets and product segments.

Speaking at the event, Guillaume Lafax, Vice President of Embedded Products, Thales Mobile and Connectivity Solutions, said,

The world’s first security certification of iSIM by the GSMA follows years of intensive development work by Qualcomm Technologies and Thales. Together with the increasingly popular eSIM, the Thales 5G iSIM gives device manufacturers and mobile operators more freedom to offer their customers seamless over-the-air connectivity, and more exciting and accessible product designs.

Speaking about the progress, Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA, said,

The GSMA is committed to fostering a ‘security-first’ culture across the entire mobile ecosystem to ensure that the benefits of mobile connectivity can be safely shared by all. The GSMA eUICC Security Assurance Scheme ensures that eSIM products, whether integrated or discrete, have the highest possible level of security resilience.

In addition, we are pleased that our processes enable faster time to market for manufacturers and allow new types of products such as integrated SIMs to emerge. iSIM increases the opportunity to expand cellular capacity and satisfy a wider and more diverse market.

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